Alan Schmegelsky, father of Bryer Schmegelsky, poses for a photo during an interview with The Canadian Press in Mill Bay B.C. on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Laura Kane

Alan Schmegelsky, father of Bryer Schmegelsky, poses for a photo during an interview with The Canadian Press in Mill Bay B.C. on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Laura Kane

B.C. murder suspect’s father reveals details of troubled life in book

Alan Schmegelsky, the father of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, sent a book to reporters this week titled ‘Red Flagged’

The father of a British Columbia murder suspect has written a book that sheds new light on his mental health, explains harassment convictions involving his ex-wife and provides greater insight into the possible impacts the events had on his fugitive son.

Alan Schmegelsky, the father of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, sent a book to reporters this week titled “Red Flagged,” which he says is a novelization of actual events and fictionalizes some incidents.

Bryer Schmegelsky is a suspect in three murders in northern B.C. along with his friend, 19-year-old Kam McLeod, and RCMP are continuing to search a boggy, remote area in Manitoba where they were last seen.

The 132-page book, which Alan Schmegelsky said he planned to self-publish this week but now does not intend to publish for sale, reveals new details of his troubled life and his numerous encounters with police and courts.

He said he sent the book to reporters to highlight how a “broken system” has shaped him and his son.

“My son and I have been treated like footballs. It’s time for some truth,” he said.

READ MORE: Search for B.C. fugitives stretches into sixth day as RCMP, army scour northern Manitoba

He writes that he was arrested by Victoria police on Aug. 4, 2008, his son Bryer’s eighth birthday, three years after his acrimonious split with the boy’s mother. In a rambling, profanity-laden recollection, he explains how he was sentenced to probation because he had no criminal history at the time.

Court records show he was charged with criminal harassment in December 2008. He was found guilty of the lesser offence of disobeying a court order.

He returned to court numerous times over the next decade.

A new criminal harassment charge was filed in 2012 and a number of breach of probation charges were added in 2014. He was later found guilty of the criminal harassment charge and some probation charges.

In 2016, he was found guilty of two additional criminal harassment charges, and in January 2018, he was found guilty of another criminal harassment charge and two breach of probation charges.

It’s unclear whether his ex-wife was the target of the harassment in each case, but Schmegelsky said in an interview that at least some of the charges were filed because the boy’s mother feared he would murder her, saying he was schizophrenic and was not taking his medication. He denies these allegations.

Schmegelsky writes in the book that a forensic psychologist diagnosed him as “delusional,” a conclusion he disagreed with. His lawyer described him as “autistic” at one point, he writes, and he was ordered to attend a crisis counselling centre but couldn’t afford to attend for very long as it wasn’t a government program.

He said his son never attended any of his court hearings.

The boy’s mother did not immediately respond to a request for comment. There was no answer at her door in Port Alberni, B.C., earlier this week and she has not returned phone calls to her home.

RCMP and Victoria police said they could not immediately provide additional context to the court records. B.C.’s Prosecution Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schmegelsky says he does not currently have a permanent residence and has been homeless for about two years, staying primarily in Victoria.

He says in the book that the birth of his son on Aug. 4, 2000, was “an experience of a lifetime — the greatest.” He says the tiny infant became “embedded” in his heart in less than a second.

“My life had just taken on a whole new perspective. I would do anything to protect him. Life was good.”

He says in the book that his then-wife left him in 2005, taking their young son with her to start a new life in Port Alberni. Schmegelsky describes losing his son as “the worst heartbreak I ever experienced.”

READ MORE: Father of suspect in 3 B.C. deaths expects son will go out in ‘blaze of glory’

He has said that he did not see his son between the ages of eight and 16, at which age his son briefly lived with him in Victoria and they worked in construction together for a summer. He showed The Canadian Press recent photos and videos of his son on his phone.

Herb Loomba, the owner of the Redford Motel in Port Alberni, confirmed that the elder Schmegelsky stayed there about once a month in recent years to visit his son and he last saw them together on the young man’s graduation.

Alan Schmegelsky traces his pain back to the death of his father. He writes that his father received a tainted blood transfusion in 1985 and died of AIDS in 1990, but that his family was denied compensation because they filed the claim too late. The Canadian Press has seen a 2010 letter sent from his MP to the justice minister at the time asking why he has not been properly compensated.

The manhunt for the two homicide suspects continued in Gillam, Man., this weekend as it’s been nearly a week since the last confirmed sighting of the pair.

Police, aided by tracking dogs and drones, have been going door to door, checking every residence and abandoned building in and around Gillam as townsfolk maintain their own stressful vigil for the fugitives.

The aerial search effort got a boost Saturday with the arrival of a Canadian Air Force CC-130H Hercules aircraft equipped with high tech thermal detection gear.

In addition, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said that it had requested help from the Bear Clan Patrol, an Indigenous-led neighbourhood watch group, and was co-ordinating teams to fly to First Nations communities including Fox Lake Cree Nation, York Factory First Nation, and War Lake First Nation.

Schmegelsky and McLeod are charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of B.C. lecturer Leonard Dyck and are also suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from Cedar Hill Middle School play and hold a sign to protest proposed music cuts to school band programs in the Greater Victoria School District, during a Monday event. The district is facing a massive deficit and is considering a number of options for cutting costs. (Photo courtesy Laura Alcaraz-Sehn)
Massive student demonstration planned to protest Greater Victoria school band cuts

Band students from 14 SD61 schools will be at major intersections Thursday after school

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Reuben Forsland in his East Sooke studio with the guitar he crafted from hemp wood that he hopes will start a conversation about sustainability. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
East Sooke artisan strikes a chord with custom guitars

Guitars include wood from Hendrix childhood home in Seattle

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation is hosting a virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads University on April 25. (Black Press Media file)
Cedar trees weave deeply into lives of coastal First Nations communities

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation hosts virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

Most Read